Bates Green Farm

Field meeting reports
Picture of Digitalis purpurea (Foxglove)
Digitalis purpurea (Foxglove). Photo: Helen Proctor

Meeting date: 16 June 2019

(Leader: Helen Proctor)

Six members were met by the farmer, John McCutchan, who gave us a brief introduction to Beatons Wood.  We sheltered in the barn during the last heavy rain shower of the day. This ancient semi-natural woodland has been opened to the public to view the bluebells for 47 years and raised over £1 million for charities.

The objective of the meeting was to record vascular plant species in the wood, but also to record special areas to increase the interest for the visiting public. Tony Whitbread had carried out an assessment of the National Vegetation Classification in the 1980s. No particularly rare plants were seen. However, several ancient woodland indicator species were noted, although some were sparse. We observed the variations in the composition of the flora in different parts of the wood.  Six Veronica species were seen. Oxalis acetosella (Wood-sorrel), an Atlantic species, grew in fairly large numbers in the west side of the wood, as did Moehringia trinervia (Three-veined Sandwort).

A good mix of beginners and more experienced botanists led to a sharing of knowledge. We admired the hay meadows in the sunshine on the way back to the farm. We enjoyed tea and chocolate biscuits in the lovely garden of John and Carolyn and thanked them for making us so welcome.

Picture of botanists at Bates Green Farm
Beatons Wood. Photo: Helen Proctor